CSUMB’s Selena Velasquez Receives Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement

September 16, 2019

SEASIDE, Calif., September 16, 2019 – CSUMB senior Selena Velasquez has received the 2019 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, the CSU’s highest recognition of student achievement. Velasquez is one of 23 awardees, one from each campus in the CSU, who was publicly recognized during a CSU Board of Trustees meeting on September 24-25, 2019.

Selena Velasquez with CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa.

Selena Velasquez with CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa.

This award is the CSU's highest recognition of student achievement and provides donor-funded scholarships to students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. Students receiving the awards have all demonstrated inspirational resolve along the path to college success and many are the first in their families to attend college.

CSUMB’s 2019 awardee, Selena Velasquez, is a first-generation college student, an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Center (UROC) Scholar and Ronald E. McNair Scholar who is majoring in psychology and minoring in statistics. Velasquez also works as an admissions specialist within CSUMB’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) where she has developed a keen sense for the needs of other first-generation college students.


I am honored to be receiving this award. To me this award represents my efforts to empower fellow first-generation college students through my leadership roles on and off campus. I look forward to being a future mentor to those reaching for excellence but needing some extra guidance and support.”

— Selena Velasquez

As a McNair Scholar in UROC, Velasquez receives mentorship from Psychology assistant professor Kevin Grobman in her research investigating the prediction of student success in higher education based on non-cognitive abilities. In the surrounding community, as UROC ambassador, Velasquez supports graduating seniors at Gonzales High School by providing preparatory workshops to put together competitive applications for college.


I owe my successes to my supportive family and faculty mentors who have gone above and beyond in supporting me through higher education. This award will greatly help me towards achieving my goal of giving back to my community.”

— Selena Velasquez

Velasquez has career ambitions of earning her Ph.D. and becoming a university professor so that she can positively impact the lives of future undergraduate students and help them overcome the challenges they have in their lives.